It was the last game of the 2021-22 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague season for Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz on Friday night, and coach Neven Spahija's team certainly left its mark.
Baskonia sets season record on the way out
"We found a way to play basketball," forward Rokas Giedraitis briefly explained after the Baskonia explosion in its last game of the season, a 96-79 win over visiting Zalgiris Kaunas.
Baskonia opened the game with a 15-2 run, missed just two shots as it led 35-15 after 10 minutes, and was up by 30 points midway through the second quarter.
"We had two outstanding quarters and we had 29 assists, which is impressive," Spahija said.
It took just about the entire regular season, but those 29 assists are a new season-high in the competition. No team had dished more than 28 assists this season.
Baskonia also did it in the absence of Wade Baldwin, its assist leader. But Jayson Granger compensated for his absence by dealing 9 assists, while forwards Simone Fontecchio and Tadas Sedekerskis had 6 assists apiece.
"They showed us how to play offense, transition. They shared the ball from one side to another. They look for each other," commented losing coach Jure Zdovc after the game.
Baskonia finished its season, but it went out in style, winning five of its last six games, and setting a new season-record on its way out.